Factropolis -- A new fun fact every day!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The "M" on M&M's candies were stenciled by hand until WWII labor shortages forced the confectioner to automate the process.

See also:
- The Straight Dope

keywords: entertainment, science and technology, history, food and drink, m&m's, m&ms, mandms, mandm's candy, sugar, treat, mars, cecil adams, trivia, fun fact, fact of the day


  • *sigh* I'll probably get flamed for this, but here goes:

    This is wrong. WWII ended in 1945. The "m"s weren't printed on M&Ms until at about 1950...stenciled or otherwise.

    Here's a URL. If you don't believe it, don't blame me.

    "In 1940, the original M&Ms didn't have any printing on them. The 'm' was introduced a decade later, in honor of creator Forrest Mars Sr.. Originally, the 'm' was in black ink, but it switched to white in 1954."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 06, 2007 4:23 PM  

  • ask.yahoo.com - the world's most trusted news source.

    By Anonymous mensa man, at September 06, 2007 8:49 PM  

  • Poor evidence is better than none, sport.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 06, 2007 9:33 PM  

  • I think this is just a misunderstanding that stems from the fact that there were slight differences in marketing these (and other) candies in different regions. Europe didn't get "m"s on their m&m's until about 1950, but in the U.S., m&m's always had printed m's. In fact, it's a source of pride for the U.S. division of the company.

    By Anonymous Regina T., at September 08, 2007 6:44 AM  

  • No, it simply isn't true that M&Ms have always had the "m" on them. Regardless of what process they used to print the "m"s at first, the "m"s didn't appear until 1950, five years after WWII ended. And let's be serious. The "m"s were never hand-painted, even in 1950. Do you know how long that would take? The company had a demand to fulfill.

    Here, have some more evidence. You can believe it if you want to:




    http://www.quizzical.com.au/how-do-they-print-the-ms-on-the-mms-chocolates/ (I love this site's name: "Question Everything".)






    Look, this is the last time I'm saying anything about this particular "fact". The "fact" is wrong. I've given you ample evidence, even though the burden of proof is on the claimant rather than the skeptic. Please don't bother trying to refute my arguments unless you've at least READ one or more of the webpages whose URLs I've pasted above.

    Or, you could just claim that every single one of these websites is wrong, that "Factropolis" is right, and then sit back, smug in the knowledge that you've put some nerd with a search engine in his place. Good for you. Now aren't you late for your Moon Hoax Believer Meeting?

    Oh, and if you happen to edit Factropolis, as I suspect that many of my repliers do, please have the guts to say so. I don't care if your comment is Anonymous (obviously), I just want to know that the person refuting all of this evidence has a vested interest in doing so.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 08, 2007 12:05 PM  


    By Anonymous DIZZY, at September 08, 2007 2:36 PM  

  • Dizzy,

    At this point I don't think the topic is either M&M's or stenciling. From what I gather it's more of a contest between Posted Information and some Anonymous responder that seeks to question the information. I researched the links and found that the M&M company is very tight lipped about every aspect of their business, so.......even though Anonymous posted a rebuttal, he hasn't actually talked to any company representative to confirm or deny. Personally, I would be skeptical of any anonymous posting.


    By Anonymous Kahne, at September 09, 2007 11:13 AM  

  • Did you look at any of the websites I linked to, Kahne? They were unanimous in claiming that M&Ms had no "m"s on them until 1950. They made no distinction between those distributed in Europe and those distributed in America.

    If you had read the Straight Dope article to which Factropolis actually linked you would have known that although the Mars company WAS tight-lipped some decades ago, they've since opened up a great deal about their production process.

    Also, it really doesn't matter if Mars was tight-lipped or not from 1941 to 1950, because they would not be able to control people knowing whether or not M&Ms had "m"s on them during those years. Obviously they were consumed by the millions...somebody must have noticed, don't you think?

    So it doesn't really make sense to claim that Mars Inc's hush-hush demeanor in the earlier years disproves what should have been public knowledge.

    Would you be satisfied if I did call a company representative to ask?

    By Anonymous Mr Anonymous, your favorite anonymous skeptic, at September 09, 2007 12:22 PM  

  • Mr. Anonymous,

    Thanks for your thought for the day.

    My earlier statement on this issue was addressed to Dizzy, but since you addressed me, I certainly want to respond.

    Go for it, contact the M&M company, since it was your suggestion, please do it. You don't need my permission or approval. You are the one that insist the info isn't true, so please, by all means do whatever it takes to allow you to sleep at night.

    Keep us all posted, this is a burning issue.


    By Anonymous Kahne, at September 09, 2007 2:59 PM  

  • The OFFICIAL word:

    At the m&ms website: www.m-ms.com on their "Interactive Timeline," it states that "1950 - The very first 'm' is imprinted on the candies in black, giving them a special trademark that chocolates lovers can't find anywhere else."

    By Blogger ema816, at September 18, 2007 4:16 PM  

  • ema816,

    See, now that's information.

    Earlier Mr. Anonymous offered to call the M&M company, but since he has vanished from the scene, and obviously never made the call he offered to make, I guess your info is the most current on the subject.

    Thanks for posting your comment.


    By Anonymous Kahne, at September 19, 2007 8:31 PM  

  • Kahne, I've been reading your exchanges with Mr. Anonymous in this and other facts. I've come to two conclusions. First, Mr. Anonymous was a bit aggressive in attempting to show these "facts" for what they are (false), but he was quite reasonable in his request for inteligent discourse, and second, you are an incredible ass.

    Good day, sir.

    By Anonymous Brother-In-Arms, at January 04, 2008 6:22 PM  

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